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Christian Griepenkerl, painted by Anton Faistauer, ca. 1907.

Christian Griepenkerl (March 17, 1839 in Oldenburg – March 22, 1912 in Vienna) was a German painter.

Griepenkerl heeded the advice of his fellow countryman, the landscapist Ernst Willers,[1] and went to Vienna in the late 1850s in order to join the school of Carl Rahl. There he made his first painting — Œdipus, led by Antigone — which was approvingly accepted by the maestro, so he was engaged to make the fresco in the stairway hall of the museum of weapons and in the palaces Todesco and Sina.

A larger collection are Rahls compositions which he carried out with the help of Eduard Bitterlich in the new opera house. They worked for four years on the ceiling of the auditorium and on the drop curtain of the tragical opera. Not until the death of Rahl in 1865 did Griepenkerl start his own monumental tasks: The architect Hansen employed him to decorate the Palace Ephrussi and Palace Epstein, Franz Klein hired Griepenkerl for the castle of Hornstein and for the palace of Sina in Venice. There he made the ceiling fresco Poseidon's Wedding Procession, Demons of the Storm, and Protective Ghosts of the Sea, which are of noble form and very graceful, but have some insufficiencies concerning the clothing and the illumination. Of the same importance are the wall paintings in the mansion of the grand duchess of Tuscany in Gmunden and his painting The wedding of Aphrodite and Adonis in the dining hall of the Mansion Simon near Hietzing. He also made the decorative oil paintings (finished in 1878) in the stairway hall of the Augusteum in Oldenburg, on the ceiling depicting the Venus Urania as the ideal of all beauty, surrounded by four themes of the myth of Prometheus; and on three walls (similar to the hémicycle of Delaroche) is depicted an ideal gathering of the all-time heroes of art in historical sequence. It is followed by a cycle of paintings — showing themes from the Prometheus-myth again —, that are distinguished by a great concept of forms and a swinging composition, in the conference hall of the new Academy of Sciences in Athens.

In 1875 Griepenkerl obtained a professorship of the Academy of Applied Art in Vienna, where he amongst others was teacher of Egon Schiele, who left the Academy in protest due to the outmoded view of Griepenkerl.


  • Thieme-Becker Vol. 15, 1922, page 22.


This article incorporates information from this version of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.


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